What Songwriters Should – and Shouldn’t – Do When Meeting With Music Publishers

For most songwriters, the idea of being a staff songwriter for a music publisher is a lifelong dream. However, in order for this dream to become a reality, you’ll need to be more than just a gifted songwriter. You’ll need to show a publisher – and yourself – that you’re ready to think and act
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Navigating Your Meeting With a Music Publisher

Getting a chance to sit down with a music publisher and play them some of your songs is a genuine opportunity and one not to be taken lightly. While having great songs is certainly an important part of the equation, it is by no means the only thing that counts. To that end, I’ve listed
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A Songwriter’s Troubleshooting Guide to Fixing Broken Songs

There are times our songs come to us easily. They feel good as we’re writing them, people respond when we perform them and the demos practically jump out of the speakers. There are other times, however, when things just don’t seem to quite come together. To help you troubleshoot, I’ve put together a checklist to
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A Primer On Groove for Songwriters

One of the unsung elements that helps bring a song to life – and make it memorable – is the groove. By way of definition, groove is a mystical combination of tempo and feel that adds depth and texture to your song. That being said, it’s not uncommon for songwriters to relegate groove to an
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Tips from Industry Professionals on a Career in Songwriting

Every once in a while, it feels great for me to remember that at this point in my career I’ve managed to surround myself with some of the most intelligent, thoughtful and accomplished industry friends a person could possibly hope for. Not only that, but they’re generous, too. I reached out and asked some of
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How to Handle a Songwriting Critique from a Group of Your Peers

If you live in one of the major music cities – Nashville, New York or Los Angeles – you’ll be surrounded by a large group of your songwriting peers. This can be a huge help as it’s always easier not to go it alone as you develop your songwriting skills. One of the many benefits
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Four Reasons Why Writing Songs Gets More Fun The Longer You Do it

Don’t get me wrong, compared to most work in the world, writing songs is pretty great even from the first song you write. That being said, once you’ve made the decision to take your songwriting seriously, there’s so much more to think about than just whatever inspiration happens to provide on a given day. I’m
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Why Failure Is Your Friend in Songwriting

I’ve heard baseball described as a “game of failure,” which means that even the greatest batters in the game miss close to seven out of every ten tries. Well, using that same math, songwriting, too, is a game of failure where the greatest songwriters who have ever lived have had success with only a tiny,
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Six Things I Had To Do Before I Played the Grand Ole Opry

A few years back, I had a career moment when I was invited to perform a song I’d co-written on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry. While, of course, I want to believe the song, “The Snow and Three Thousand Miles,” that I co-wrote with the evening’s performer, Mindy Smith, was well-written, it occurred
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What Making It in the Music Business Looks Like

Having written hundreds of songs over fifteen years before one of my songs was recorded by an artist on a major label, I had a lot of time to think about what “making it” in the music business meant to me. Looking back now, it’s easier to appreciate that even though the outside world couldn’t
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